how to check the health of my hard drives?

How do I check the health of my hard drives? I know that you can do it with system rescue,
But well - is there a way to do it from root without booting onto system rescue?

there must be another way:

heard about the smartmontools.

probably this is the package i am looking for. Is this shipped with the openSUSE-linux?

Hi
Installed by default, as root user use smartctl -a /dev/sdX

If you prefer a tool with a graphical user interface you can install the package gnome-disk-utility.